The National Restaurant Association applauds final passage of the Ocean Shipping Reform Act, which should help address long-standing and systemic port disruptions impacting costs throughout the supply chain.

“Whether it’s food, packaging, or equipment restaurants depend on, supply chain disruptions are so bad, American importers and exporters are paying the highest shipping rates ever recorded for the worst service levels ever experienced,” said Sean Kennedy, executive vice president of public affairs for the National Restaurant Association. “There’s no silver bullet that will solve the nation’s supply chain challenges, but we’re hopeful this legislation will provide some relief by updating federal regulations for the global shipping industry. After months of advocating with our supply chain partners for these changes, we hope modernization of the Ocean Shipping Act will help reduce shipping costs and improve supply chain challenges.

“We appreciate the support and effort of Sens. Amy Klobuchar and John Thune, who brought the Senate and House intentions together for this final bill, which we hope will create positive long-term impacts for the restaurant industry and our supply chain partners.”

Specifically, the legislation will:

  • Require ocean carriers to certify that late fees—“detention and demurrage” charges—comply with federal regulations or face penalties
  • Shift burden of proof regarding the reasonableness of “detention and demurrage” charges from the invoiced party to the ocean carrier
  • Prohibit ocean carriers from unreasonably declining shipping opportunities for U.S. exports, as determined by the Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) in new required rulemakingRequire ocean common carriers to report to the FMC each calendar quarter on total import/export tonnage and 20-ft. equivalent units (loaded/empty) per vessel that makes port in the U.S.
  • Authorize the FMC to self-initiate investigations of ocean common carriers’ business practices and apply enforcement measures, as appropriate
  • Establish new authority for the FMC to register shipping exchanges

Get more information about the Association’s policy agenda here.

Source: National Restaurant Association